The city's top musicians were honored during the 34th annual Austin Music Awards at the Hilton Austin on Wednesday night. Hosted by The Austin Chronicle and SXSW, the musical spectacle was part awards ceremony, part artist showcase.
Emcees Laurie Gallardo and Rick McNulty from KUTX celebrated the 2015 winners and took guests through a star-studded lineup of performances. The theme for the evening was "deep roots, living legends," a mantra fitting for the Austin music scene and the acts onstage.
The most talked about moment of the night was a tribute to the late Paul Ray, host of "Twine Time" on KUTX. Led Zeppelin frontman and "Twine Time" fan Robert Plant joined Jimmie Vaughan, Charlie Sexton, and a band of Austin all-stars for the musical memorial.
Actress Renée Zellweger served as special presenter for a segment honoring the 20th anniversary of the SIMS Foundation, the highlight of which was a David Bowie mash-up headed by Sexton and Spoon's Britt Daniel. The rebirth of Antone's nightclub downtown was marked by a legendary set with Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall III, Clifton Chenier, and Lou Ann Barton. Representing the new regime of Austin talent was a colorful joint presentation from ensemble bands Mother Falcon and Golden Arkestra that ended with an Earth, Wind, and Fire song.
Bob Schneider walked away the biggest winner of the night. The acclaimed singer-songwriter won five music awards (Best Musician, Album, Song, Male Vocals, and Songwriter of the Year) and two industry-based nods. Hip-hop piece Riders Against the Storm took home Band of the Year for the third time in a row in addition to Best Hip-Hop/Rap Band.
The Flatlanders, Dangerous Toys, Davy Jones, James Cotton, and Sarah Elizabeth Campbell were inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Susan Antone was presented with the first-ever Margaret Moser Award, dedicated to women who work in unconventional ways to support the music scene.
Band of the Year: Riders Against the Storm
Musician of the Year: Bob Schneider
Album of the Year: King Kong Vol. 1 by Bob Schneider
Song of the Year: "The Stars Over Your House" by Bob Schneider
Best New Band: Calliope Musicals
Hall of Fame inductees: The Flatlanders, Dangerous Toys, Davy Jones, James Cotton, and Sarah Elizabeth Campbell